The Women’s March to Perry Square in Erie

The tranquil view of Perry Square on this circa 1915 postcard belies the flurry of activity that occurred here on July 8, 1913, when one of the earliest women’s suffrage marches in Pennsylvania took place. On that day hundreds of supporters answered the call of Erie suffragist Augusta Fleming, president of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Equal Franchise Association, to march for women’s rights...
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Trailheads

With more than 20 sites and museums on PHMC’s Pennsylvania Trails of History, each year is full of events, tours, programs and visits. Historical milestones are commemorated — such as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War II or the centennial of Pennsylvania’s ratification of the 19th Amendment — and “everyday” history is remembered in artifact exhibits, cooking...
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Corry State Fish Hatchery

Constructed in 1876, the Corry State Fish Hatchery in Corry, Erie County, is the pioneer trout hatchery of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and one of the oldest in the nation. As the state’s prototype and its longest continually operating site, it represents the commonwealth’s earliest formal commitment to wildlife conservation and sport fishing. Hundreds of millions of fish raised...
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Midcentury Modern Trails

From the 1950s into the 1970s, when Midcentury Modern architecture was at its height, a flurry of new construction took place on the Trails of History. Many of the visitor centers and museums from this period echoed historic forms appropriate to the sites where they were built. The visitor center at Ephrata Cloister, constructed in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, is complementary to the surviving...
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The President Meets the Press

The road to glory traveled by Abraham Lincoln on his way to his inauguration took him in and out of Pennsylvania three times: first to Pittsburgh, then through Erie County along the southern shore of the lake, to Philadelphia, and finally through Harrisburg where he spoke to the state legislature. Throughout the trip he was well received by great crowds who thronged to the train depots and,...
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In Celebration of Covered Bridges

We crossed the Susquehanna river by a wooden bridge, roofed and covered in on all sides, and nearly a mile in length. It was profoundly dark, perplexed with great beams, crossing and recrossing at every possible angle, and through the broad chinks and crevices in the floor the rapid river gleamed far down below like a legion of eyes. We had no lamps, and as the horses stumbled and floundered...
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Dan Rice’s Monument: Patriotism or Circus Promotion?

On storied battlefields and at thousands of heroes’ graves and historic monuments, Pennsylvanians gather to commemorate the bravery and valor of the indi­viduals who made – and kept – this a free country. In the northwestern corner of the state, in a little town called Girard, Erie countians gather around a tall stone monument which claims special distinc­tion. The monument was...
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The Northwest’s Vintners

From an early Old Crusted Port to today’s popular – if not ubiquitous – wine cool­ers, Erie County wines have been a significant Pennsylva­nia commodity since 1864. There has been trouble along the way, but the county’s grapes, grown in profusion along the south shore of Lake Erie, have over­come many obstacles and today are a ma­jor element in the Commonwealth’s...
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Watts’ Folly

When he is remem­bered at all, Fre­derick Watts is likely to be men­tioned in connection with the McCormick Reaper, the Cum­berland Valley Railroad, the establishment of the Pennsyl­vania State University or, more recently, the controversy over the demolition of his farm­stead in Carlisle. It may seem an incongruous legacy but therein lies the charm and the extraordinary genius of this man from...
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The Battles Bank: When Honesty Was Collateral and Chickens Paid the Interest

On the day the pri­vately owned R. S. Battles Bank in Girard, Erie County, closed, it had been in operation for eighty-seven years. For nearly a century its owners had steadfastly offered services to their depositors despite panics, recessions, depressions, robberies, even a presidential proclamation. Oddly enough, the doors of the vine covered brick building were ultimately closed in 1946 by...
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